Author Topic: Dark Earth, Terra preta and the Terramare culture (Black Earth / Chernozem)  (Read 9458 times)


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Original pathfinder:

Dark/Black Earth is found around the world. The Dark Earth of Europe seems to have been created in the 1st millenia AD. Terra preta is found in Brazil and actually regenerates itself, still a mystery to the scientific world. Russia is famous for its Black Land. Italy has its puzzling Terramare culture. What does Black Earth and middens have to do with the abandonment of old habitation and land in the past?

How does the Terra preta keep replenishing and increasing itself? Was the Dark Earth layer of Europe caused by a large increase in water levels and flooding of the land? Are Dark Earth layers/deposits a  sign of a Plasma Event (Discharge or Catastrope)? Is the Chernozem created as part of the exchange of the XEarth? Is charcoal an answer or the question?

Dark Soil that is not directly linked to a riverse flood plain seems to have constants - charcoal, pottery sherds, animal bones, high micro organism activity in the past or present and civilisations that have abandoned the area.

Dark Earth Europe - The mini Flood?

Dark Earth: England and Europe -   Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 2008:3 - Steve Mitchell
The dark earth layer can be found not only in London, but at other Roman and non-Roman towns and cities in England. The layer is composed of silt and fine sand, with some pebbles and a residue of Roman period rubble...At Leicester there is 3m of of dark earth (although greyish, as a result of leaching) which lies on top of the Roman Horizon...

Ash, cess, rubbish and biological re-working of older material by worms and beetles have created the mixture that is part of the dark earth layer. There is plenty of evidence that in the Late Roman period and Dark Ages, people occupied higher ground (Burgh Castle?) - and there is especially evidence of a re-occupation at this time of hill forts. They seem to have avoided river-valley bottoms and flood-plains. Hence, there is evidence to indicate how the silt and sand layer was created initially, but at the moment it is not known for how long such areas may have been under water, or what might have caused so much water to accumulate so quickly...

He (Steve Mitchell) went on to mention that flooding was not just a feature of the British landscape, but that there was evidence in the Mediterranean region of vast quantities of soil being washed into, or along, valleys at precisely the same period of time.

Where did the water come from? Water is very likely to come from inside the earth or as part of a electrical/plasma discharge and exchange with the Electric Universe.

If water is created by the XEarth then the reason it also gets "lower" is that the conditions producing water have reduced or changed. If you consider that the earth is part of the Electric Universe and its conditions will change or react to what is happening in the circuit. Similar to positive/negative feedback conditions on earth will reflect the changes and the earths role in the circuit.

The Terramare culture

The Terramare (Terramara) culture flourished in Italy, especially around the Po Valley. Terramare is the dark earth/soil associated with these peoples, a marl earth (natural marl - calcareous clay - fertilizer). This culture is a bit mysterious. They built habitations following a basic plan, usually on a mound of earth but not always. The village buildings area would be rectangle in shape with a moat around it. The Terramare people constructing buildings that appear to be constructed on poles or piles of wood. What was the need for this?

The Terramare  including those studied at Poviglio Santa Rosa, northern Italy (pdf), suddenly abandoned these well built villages and the land that they had terraformed to sustain their well developed culture.

The mounds the Terremare were built on or above seemed to be middens, if the earth was transformed into fertiliser material.

Egypt (Khemit)

The ancients referred to their "country" as KMT, which has been written many different ways: Kemet, Kemit, Khemet, Khem, Al Khem—and the form we prefer, Khemit. It literally meant "the Black Land" and referred to the rich, black alluvial soil deposited by the Nile River, which allowed the agricultural basis of the civilization to flourish. The indigenous tradition of Egypt tells us the civilization was Khemit, the people and language were called Khemitian.
The origin of the word "Egypt"

Dark Earth - Europe

Dark earth is the name given to urban occupation deposits which are dark coloured and seemingly homogenous. They are common to most cities with long histories, especially those in Europe of Medieval and earlier ancestry. The sediments are usually unstratified, c. 0.5 to 2m thick and contain very few archaeological features. In England, they overlie early and mid-Roman layers in many towns. They consist of dark coloured loam often mixed with building material, pottery fragments, food waste (bone, oyster shells and charred cereal grains), high quantities of phytoliths, and sparse pollen spectra indicating waste ground (the strongly alkaline and oxidising conditions of the sediments causing very poor pollen preservation). This is frequently interpreted as evidence of a sharply reduced urban occupation in late Roman towns, but the earth has destroyed and absorbed late-Roman buildings and made it very difficult to analyse the stratification and date the fourth and fifth centuries.
Dark Earth - Soil Analysis Support System for Archaeology (SASSA)

Terra preta - Amazonian Dark Earth

The Dark Earth (Terra preta) of the Amazon area is famous for its rejuvanating ability. This black soil high amounts of charcoal (created in a low temperature environment), certain minerals and micro organisms. Found or added to it are fish and animal bones and pottery sherd remains.

Terra preta appears in in contained areas amongst normal Amazonian soil. It is a good local source of fertiliser. It has been standard dated to have been created by human activity between 500 BC and 1000 AD.

Thousands of years after its creation it has been reported to regenerate itself at the rate of 1 centimetre per year by the local farmers and caboclos in Brazil's Amazonian basin, and they seek it out for use and for sale as valuable compost.

For a long time, the origins of the Amazonian dark earths were not immediately clear and several theories were considered. One idea was that they resulted from ashfall from volcanoes in the Andes, since they occur more frequently on the brows of higher terraces. Another theory considered its formation as a result of sedimentation in Tertiary lakes or in recent ponds.

However, because of their elevated charcoal content and the common presence of pottery remains, it is now widely accepted that these soils are a product of indigenous soil management involving a labor intensive technique termed slash-and-char. The technique is differentiated from slash and burn by a lower temperature burn (thus producing more charcoal than ashes) and in being a tool for soil improvement."
Wikipedia - Terra preta do índio - Indian black earth - Dark Earth

Black Magic Soil - Biochar

The ADE's (Amazonian Dark Eaarths) fertility is most likely linked to an anthropogenic accumulation of phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), and black C as charcoal. Charcoal persists in the environment over centuries and is responsible for the stability of the ADE's SOM. Today and as assumed also in the past,those soils have been intensively cultivated by the native population.

When charcoal was applied in unweathered condition the microbiological parameters (respiration, biomass, population growth, and efficiency) increased linearly and significantly with increasing charcoal concentrations (50, 100 and 150 g kg-1 soil). Application of pyrogenous acid caused a sharp increase in soil respiration, biomass, and reproduction. We suppose that the condensates from smoke contain easily degradable substances which could be utilized by the microbes for their metabolism (chapter IV).

In a greenhouse experiment, leaching of N was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced if ammonium sulphate was applied with charcoal (chapter V). In contrast, leaching of K was significantly (P < 0.05) increased if potassium chloride was applied with charcoal, due to the charcoal's K content.

Long-lasting soil fertility improvement due to organic fertilization and a synergistic effect if both charcoal and mineral fertilizer were applied was observed in a field experiment(chapters VI, VII, VIII and IX). Chicken manure amendments resulted in the highest (P<0.05) cumulative crop yield (12.4 Mg ha-1) of four successive harvests. Most importantly,11 surface soil pH, P, Ca and magnesium (Mg) were significantly enhanced by chicken manure. Charcoal significantly improved plant growth and doubled grain production if fertilized with NPK in comparison to the NPK-fertilizer without charcoal (P < 0.05). Soil charcoal additions reduced exchangeable soil aluminium (Al) significantly.

The soil microbial population growth potential showed a significant positive correlation to nutrient availability in the soil and plant biomass production (chapter VII). Mineral fertilized soils amended with charcoal and Terra Preta soils had a significantly higher potential for microbial population growth coupled with a low microbial respiration in absence of an easily degradable C source (glucose).
bioenergylists - biochar

** Abandonment and Charcoal Catastrophe - further posts about catastrophe and soils/charcoal

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« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 07:35:36 by electrobleme »